The best books about the Beatles

The Books I Picked & Why

Love Me Do! The Beatles' Progress

By Michael Braun

Love Me Do! The Beatles' Progress

Why this book?

Rolling Stone magazine chose Love Me Do: the Beatles Progress as the best of all the Beatles’ books which is a little unfair because it barely moves beyond 1963. On the other hand, it’s a riveting, eye witness account (author Michael Braun was a journalist embedded with the Beatles on some of their first tours) and it covers the first blast of Beatlemania, the screaming fans, and of course their legendary appearance on the Ed Sullivan show in February of 1964.


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Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles

By Geoff Emerick, Howard Massey

Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles

Why this book?

The author is the thing here. Geoff Emerick was the sound engineer at Abbey Road Studios during the recording of the later Beatle albums – Sgt. Pepper, the White Album, and, yes, Abbey Road. Of course, every Beatle fan knows that George Martin was the Beatle’s producer but it was Emerick who set up the microphones and the tape loops. It was Emerick who captured Ringo’s drumming the best (pillow in the bass drum) and to a large degree, it was he who helped the Beatles shape their legendary sound.


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The Love You Make: An Insider's Story of the Beatles

By Peter Brown, Steven Gaines

The Love You Make: An Insider's Story of the Beatles

Why this book?

The Love You Make is pure pop pablum. It’s almost tabloid-like in its recounting of the Beatle’s relationships, their drug use, and their many petty squabbles. Written by Brian Epstein’s assistant (Brian Epstein, of course, was the Beatles’ manager), Brown has some stories to tell. Full of photos too. This one’s a lot of fun if you don’t take it too seriously.


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Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties

By Ian MacDonald

Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties

Why this book?

Revolution in the Head should come with a warning. This one is only for the most serious of Beatle fanatics. It’s an encyclopedic tome listing every song they ever recorded, who played on it, and even what days it was recorded (Strawberry Fields was recorded over five different sessions through November 1966). There are also many longer sections dealing with the particular cultural moments surrounding the writing of the songs and a whole lot of controversial opinion-making about just which ones are good songs and which are not.


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Dreaming the Beatles: The Love Story of One Band and the Whole World

By Rob Sheffield

Dreaming the Beatles: The Love Story of One Band and the Whole World

Why this book?

Like none of the others, Dreaming the Beatles is more like a series of reflections from someone who came along well after the Beatles. The book was published in 2017 and it’s a fond look back at what still remains. Not so much a direct history as a sort of compendium of remembrance with chapters like “The Importance of Being Ringo” or “The Cover of Abbey Road.” A distinct pleasure to read.


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